an in-browser emulation
of the program
Q-Bert (1983) (Parker Brothers)
Q*bert is an isometric platform game with puzzle elements where the player controls the title character from a third-person perspective. Q*bert starts each game at the top of an isometric pyramid of cubes, and moves by jumping diagonally from cube to cube. Landing on a cube causes it to change color, and changing every cube to the target color allows the player to progress to the next stage. In later stages, each cube must be hit multiple times to reach the target color. In addition, cubes will change color every time Q*bert lands on them, instead of remaining on the target color once they reach it. Jumping off the pyramid results in the character's death.
The player is impeded by several enemies:
Coily - A purple snake that chases after Q*bert.
Ugg and Wrongway - Two purple creatures that run along the sides of the cubes
Slick and Sam - Two green gremlins that revert the color changes that have occurred.
A collision with purple enemies is fatal to the character. Colored balls occasionally appear at the top of the pyramid and bounce downward; contact with a red ball is lethal to Q*bert, while contact with a green one will immobilize the on-screen enemies. Upon dying, Q*bert emits a sound likened to swearing. A multi-colored disc on either side of the pyramid serves as an escape device from danger, particularly Coily. The disc returns Q*bert to the top of the pyramid, tricking Coily to jump off the pyramid if the snake was in close pursuit. This would cause all enemies and balls on the screen to disappear when Coily died.
Of the ColecoVision version, Electronic Fun with Computers & Games noted that "Q*bert afficionados will not be disappointed". Marc Brownstein of Video Games called it one of the best of the authorized versions. Warren Davis also considered the ColecoVision version the most accurate port of the arcade.
January 4, 2014
Q-Bert is one of the more successful and iconic early-80's arcade games, and as such, it was ported to a variety of home consoles, with varying degrees of success. The ColecoVision port is particularly faithful to the mechanics and overall feel of the original arcade game.
I remember playing this version a lot as a kid. The particular sounds that Q-Bert and the snake made are still embedded in my head. :)